Twinsane’s Weblog

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how to deal with dog aggression

Posted by --- on Tuesday 19 August, 2008

Well after a great walk the other day, tonight didn’t go so well. We walked at the local wildlife park and after doing the full circuit and only encountering one other dog – which she barked at – we stood watching the Canada geese come in and land on the reserve. It was lovely, the sun was starting to set and we were relaxed and happy. A woman came up and started talking to us about all sorts. J was pointing out different birds and L was watching the weird things on the water that made strange noises. I was vaguely aware of shouting before a staffy came out of the blue and jumped on Lexie. He mounted her and pinned her to the floor. She was squealing and trying to get away. She’d flipped onto her back and was making a terrible racket. I was sort of frozen. It was all happening in a split second but seemed to go on forever. The staffy was mouthing her and looked like he was trying to bite but she was kicking up with all four legs and somehow managed to get up and spin towards him. I was shouting at this woman to get her dog off my dog and she was calling his name. As she got close, she grabbed him and marched off in the other direction all in one movement and without a word. She never looked back, let alone apologised or waited to see if L was alright. For all she knew she could have been injured. I was crouching by Lexie trying to check for injuries. The woman that was talking to us was saying that she didn’t know why i wasn’t shouting abuse at the other dog owner and demanding at least an apology but the other woman went off so fast and turning to see where she was, I could see she was quite far away and almost running. Maybe she was shook up or upset? Or maybe – as I’ve been told – I’m too soft and shouldn’t feel sorry for her or make excuses for her as she was probably not bothered. I was shaking, poor J was shaking. Lexie was covered in dirt and wet where the staffy had slobbered on her trying to get hold of her. I wanted to cry but didn’t because of j. We got in the car and came home. Writing it down now it seems like nothing; at the time it was horrible.

Coming home I felt like I should have done something. Should I have grabbed the staffy? Was he playing ? I don’t really think so but I don’t know. I feel like I let Lexie down and should have protected her more. I feel like I should have been stronger with J watching me and should have stood up to the woman and said something though what and how when she didn’t stop I’ve no idea. I was still shaking as we got home. J said she was scared, felt sick and also a bit angry. I felt the same. Its really put me off walking Lexie. I’m not aggressive or confrontational. I feel sick at the thought of it and thinking that I’m going to have to deal with this when I go out has put me off. Its not the first time, although it’s the worst, and she’s only met other dogs a few times. I@m not being judgemental as I was a staffy owner and my staffy was as good as gold with people and dogs, but each time this has happened (3 and she’s only been going out for 2 weeks) its been a staffy. No wonder she barks with her hackles up as soon as she sees another dog. I wish I was braver so that I could too! Why aren’t there laws to stop this? There should reintroduce dog registration for all dogs. There should be some conditions about having to train your dog or at least go to a session where people are taught the care basics – dog law, dog control, dog feeding ( I spoke to a neighbour who has no idea how to feed her pup), grooming, etc. It could even be like driving a car where you need to pass a test (nothing major but basics of care etc). Maybe with a little knowledge less dogs would be abandoned or less injuries occur.

I also think there should be a law about breeding. I think all pets should be neutered/spayed unless the owner registers as a breeder. I don’t agree with this whimsical breeding of animals; thinking it’s a good way to make cash. Not caring about the quality of the breed, the health of the parents or offspring, the homes they go to or the life of the animal. My breeder would have Lexie back at any time if I had a problem (not that I’d let her go back!) Maybe a sytem to register as an owner and or breeder or else have neutered pets would reduce unwanted animals (be that dogs, cats, rabbits etc) and improve the health of some. I know many poor cats that are pregnant before they are 12 months old and continue producing litters of kittens without homes to go to until the owner can afford/be bothered to get them neutered or they continue to be a kitten factory until they die. My own elderly cat’s mom died years ago despite being only 7 months older than her. She went blind at only 6 and looked so old. It might be other factors but I always put it down to all the kittens she had when she was young.

Anyway, I’ll get off my soap box now. I could go on for ages with this. It really annoys me that people are irresponsible owners. I don’t blame the staffy today. I blame the woman who let it off the lead. nuff said! πŸ˜‰

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2 Responses to “how to deal with dog aggression”

  1. Hi, how is your puppy today and do you still have any sanity left ? About the scary encounter you had at the park, most likely the other dog was trying to play with your guy, but didn’t know how to. A good indication that he was trying to play, is that your guy didn’t wind up with any puncture wounds from his teeth.

    Some people are less than good with their animals or have no concern for other people and their dogs. Maybe I’m just giving them to much credit for thinking.

    On your housebreaking issue, unless you can afford to buy a puppy pen or large crate , I would suggest you cover the entire floor of his room with newspapers.This way he doesn’t miss. Usually any store that sell’s newspapers will be more than happy to give you all the unsold papers you would like.

    Good Luck

  2. twinsane said

    Hiya and thanks for the comment and suggestions.

    I dont have any sanity left I’m afraid but thats due to having little to start with and raising three children… poor dog has more intellect than I do πŸ™‚ yes I think you’re right about the staffy not knowing what to do with her. I thought the same about the lack of injuries being an indication. I love the comment about giving some people credit for thinking but I do try to think the best of people and put behaviour down to ignorance where possible. It’s one of the reasons I think that dog owners should go on a dog care course. That sounds as if I’m not bothered about the care of other pets which isn’t true; I just feel that knowing how to look after a dog and how to look out for possible problems could save a lot of heartache and a dog can cause major injuries to people and other animals – a cat might give you a nasty scratch…

    I do paper the floor as you suggest though most of it is redistributed or torn up in the night and she litterally floods the place when she goes. It just sits on the top of the paper until you try to lift it. The idea about asking paper stores for old papers is a good one though as at this age, you never seem to have enough do you? I’ve got a feeling that our papershop sends them back to the distributer but I’ll check thanks πŸ™‚

    And thanks for the well wishes, I’ll need them! :S

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